Louisiana car accident victims can breathe a sigh of relief – at least for the time being — because a bill sponsored by Sen. Kirk Talbot was vetoed earlier this month by Gov. John Bel Edward when it reached his desk. That bill would have had negative consequences for both injury victims and their attorneys.
The governor also vetoed bills that would have forced personal injury victims to take a case to trial more often (making it both harder and more expensive to pursue a claim), capped the damages that they could ultimately be awarded, placed new restrictions on personal injury attorneys who wanted to advertise their services via television, radio or billboards and would generally have made it much harder for injury victims to win their claims.
Proponents of the bills claimed they were needed to lower the car insurance rates in Louisiana, which are among the highest in the nation. However, the proposed measures would have brought no guarantee that this would actually happen. Nothing in the bills required insurance companies to lower their rates. In fact, as the governor noted, the language in the proposed legislation would have actually allowed insurance companies to raise their rates under certain circumstances.
Tort reform bills rarely, if ever, are advantageous to the consumer. They’re designed to protect big insurance companies and businesses. Insurance companies and their lobbyists often complain about “frivolous” lawsuits and unfair verdicts. However, no lawsuit feels frivolous when you or a loved one has been seriously injured. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced attorney in your corner.